SpartanNerd…Micro Reviews 1

New thing.  MICRO REVIEWS!

These posts will be brief summary thoughts concerning my feelings about various “nerdtainment” items.  This is becoming a necessity, as I am getting more content than I have time for a formal review.

 

SUICIDE SQUAD.  I promise, I will bring a full review after I see it a second time.  I saw this on opening weekend, and was impressed.  Very nice movie, that remained faithful to the comic book characters.  Harley Quinn stole the show…

 

HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: “THE THREE TERRORS” (Short Animation)…This is now available on iTunes, and I watched it today.  It is ten minutes of an attempt by Super7 to revive the Filmation style of animation.  This little cartoon hit it at about 80%.  Alan Oppenheimer still voices Skeletor, but he just doesn’t have the high pitches that he carried in his younger days.

 

SPEAKING OF SUPER7…I was shocked to hear of their takeover of MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE CLASSICS.  I think their small figure line is cute and interesting, maybe even worth the $5 a figure.  But I don’t own any…I am in the camp with many other fans that jittery times are ahead.  Why would Mattel pass that property?  I am glad Digital River is done.  Maybe shipping will be cheaper.

 

METALLICA: “HARDWIRED FOR DESTRUCTION”…This is the only track and also is the title track) released so far, for an album slated to release on November 18.  It’s about time!  The few reviews on iTunes so far compare the song to stuff on “Justice for All.”  I think the singing might be a little smoother than what was on “Death Magnetic,” but the band’s all around sound is about the same.  Robert Trujillo is KILLING that bass!

 

YOUNG JUSTICE…I began watching this again…I watched it last year.  What a great cartoon!  I wish more would happen.

 

DC COMICS: REBIRTH..I have been reading Batman as well as Robin, Son of Batman, and also I picked up All Star Batman.  So far, the most powerful story is the Batman book that came out this week.  Batman #5 dropped a couple of bombs, that they are going to kill Batman ONCE AGAIN.  And that Duke Thomas is going to marry Gotham Girl.

 

MAGIC THE GATHERING: CONSPIRACY-TAKE THE CROWN…The spoilers released so far have fans scratching their heads.  This set looks to bring more power and almost better reprints than Eternal Masters and Modern Masters 2015.  Very odd!

 

First Ever Micro-Reviews!  Let me know what you think in the comments!

 

 

SpartanNerd Review…He-Man and The Masters of the Universe Minicomic Collection

Thanks for all the views in my absence!  The SpartanNerd has been really busy with his real job.  But now, back to blogging.

Masters of the Universe “mini comics” were truly my introduction to comic books.  I had no Spider-man, Superman, or Batman comics as a small child.  The only comics I specifically remember were those packed with Masters of the Universe figures.  Me and my brothers would read these, and they would get stepped on, crumpled, left in the car.  Pages torn out.  Staples let loose.  Crayon marks.  Holes.  All kinds of abuse.  I cringe to think about it now, but I don’t think I would have had it any other way.  As a teacher, I know that these experiences led me to a whole-language approach to reading, and it helped my brothers as well, who weren’t as good at reading as me.

The other thing about the mini comics…they told inconsistent stories.  I didn’t understand that there were different artists, writers, and publishers with different ideas.  The public at large didn’t know all of the details that have been unearthed in recent years about the workings behind the scenes.  So when Skeletor says he and his people are from another dimension…that didn’t make sense with my largely Filmation understanding of the story.  This didn’t turn me off of the mini comics.  But it made me wonder “why?”

The story behind me getting He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Minicomic Collection is sort of a frustrating one…I actually ordered it at The Tangled Web in Spartanburg SC back in November, before it came out.  This was supposed to be my anniversary present…It wasn’t a pre-order, so I didn’t pay up front.

But somehow, it didn’t arrive.  And so they re-submitted the order for me, at least three times.  I heard rumors online that the production run was shorter than expected…that demand couldn’t be met easily.  I was tempted to order from Amazon, go to Barnes and Noble maybe.  But I am loyal if nothing else, and in time I accepted that rumor as truth, and that the mini comic collection would be another rare thing I wouldn’t have a hold of.  I would pick it up eventually…(maybe.)

Apparently, sometime in the last month (While I have been away from the blog) the owner of The Tangled Web came across, and ordered the upcoming art-book thing that is all about the Filiation cartoon…He was telling me about it, and knew I would definitely want a copy.  (I DO!)  And so I asked him to look again about the mini comic collection.  A quick look on his computer and he said.  “We’ll have it in a week!”  He was right this time.  You have to love small business!

Does the mini comic collection deliver up to my expectations?  Keep reading!

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Here is the front cover…still sealed with cellophane!  The Tangled Web sold this to me for a slight discount, considering my situation.  I am quite appreciative!  Long live small business!  Love that store, and any of my readers who ever come through Spartanburg should come by and purchase something.  (Would Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Wal-Mart have cared ?  Of course not.)

The cover makes it clear what you are getting.  It is probably wrong to put She-Ra mini comics (storybooks?) in this and just call it He-man and the Masters of the Universe.  But they did.  I suppose by now, though most She-Ravers consign themselves to this.

 

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Here’s the back, featuring an image from “The Terror Claws Strike!”

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And the spine…showing that this is a Dark Horse product, as well as offering you a glimpse at how very thick this book is!  It is in fact 1232 pages long!

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A little comparison for you.  On the left is the Minicomic collection (now unwrapped.)  And  on the right is my only extant mini comic.  “King of the Snake Men.”  A gift from my wife…the italian version no less!  But anyway.  Look at the size difference!

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I found a page from “King of the Snake Men” in the collection, so you can further see the incredible difference “blowing this up” makes!  Good thing too.  The SpartanNerd’s vision fails him in his old age.

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For a book that is thicker than many Bibles, Harry Potter books, and encyclopedia’s…its a good thing they included this ribbon-bookmark!  And it is a very handy addition as well.  (I am reading the collection straight through.  I use this to mark where I left off.)

Now for the contents.

As you read, you get little footnotes.  See the bottom here.  This information helps you see the mini comics as pieces of Masters of the Universe history.  And they appear to be in chronological order, starting with the first “storybooks” given out…drawn by Alfredo Alcala.  These show “miniternia.”  The first story depicted in media about He-Man.  And this story is vastly different from Filmation and later stories.  He-Man is a barbarian hero in a post-apocalyptic situation, where technology and magic are lorded over the populace by experts such as Man-At-Arms, The Goddess (Sorceress), and Skeletor.

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The book takes some time to share interviews with the artists and writers.  Here is a pic of the interview with one of the earliest writers, Gary Cohn.

I haven’t read past “mini-eternia” yet.  (Just got to Filmation era.)  But I will go ahead and show you what else this book consists of.  Here is some of the She-Ra stuff.  They seem to have included it all!9

Tons of pink and pastels.  Not sure what the image below depicts.  But there are several pages of this book which I assume is some part of She-Ra lore preserved here.  AND, in a similar vein, the “read with me” story with a record about the Talon Fighter is in here too.  I remember owning that  and reading it as a kid, and being terrified.  (A terrified as you can be of a comic book.  Hey…I was like six years old…or younger!)

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Here is what I considered the sad story from the first New Adventures of He-Man mini comic.  Prince Adam is No More!  It depicts He-Man transforming in the presence of Skeletor, knocking him down and frying his skull.  (Which necessitates the “cyborg” version found throughout that particular incarnation of the story.)  All of the New Adventures stories are chronicled here.

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The comics by Val Staples and Emiliana Selucia from the 200x series are here.  These were the pack-in comics, not the monthly comics.  But the art is very much the same.  (The second Pack-In was drawn by Enza Fortana)

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The rarest of the mini-comics is here.  “The Power of the Evil Horde”

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And the Masters of the Universe Classics mini comics are here.  I haven’t been fortunate enough to own or read any of these.  I was very happy to get to see the maps in the Masters of the Universe Art Book.  And since I am reading straight through, I am avoiding the temptation to go ahead and read these.  (My readers should know…I am also re-reading the recent DC comics again.)  I don’t want too much fantasy bouncing around in my head!

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And here is what is on the last pages of the book.  Not sure what this is about.  A book that didn’t make it to print?

 

Reading what I have read so far has been extremely satisfying.  The larger pages lets me have a deeper appreciation for the art.  I have no trouble reading the script, either.  The colors seem to be “restored.”  I love the chronological nature of the collection as well, unfolding a history of the brand.  What a great way to pay homage to something so fundamental to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

I have read some of the mini comics online over the years.  (Is that piracy?)  I don’t buy many digital comics…I do use ComiXology and its associated apps, but what I read on that is usually Spawn or Conan the Barbarian books…things I don’t want laying around for my children to read.  But there is nothing like having the physical book in your hand.

If I had a choice, own a copy of every single mini comic, OR own this collected edition.  I would go for the collection.  Simply because of the large size.  And they are all collected in one volume, so that is convenient!

If I could rate anything higher than 5/5, then the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Minicomic Collection would be a 6/5.  It is perfect!  I love the large pages, the chronological order, the interviews…all of it is spectacular!

 

SpartanNerd thoughts…He-Man and the Eternity War Issues #10 and #11

I said way back in my 250th blog post that I would be posting a review of Issue #10.  My apologies, readers…life has kept me away from the blog.  And that is going to continue, it seems.  I find blogging to be a relaxing thing, so, I will do it when I can relax.

I think I’ll start with this photo…

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What….These two comics inspired me to produce and take this photo.  (Never realized how hard it is to put an alternate head on King Hsss….)

The events leading up to issue #10 and #11…

Basically, the Horde conquered Eternia.  Hordak had the Fright Zone infect the land, as he acquired the power of Grayskull and seemed to be bringing about the “Age of Horokoth”.  (He used the blood of Grayskull to resurrect his body…previously his spirit was trapped inside a robot life-support casket.)  He forged his own sword of power, etc.

The masters made allies with the Snake Men, who worship the Green Goddess (Teela) as the Sorceress of Serpos.  He-Man decided to eschew the power of Grayskull and only use the power of Adam…bad move, because apparently King Hsss…devoured him off-panel.  (So the main character of He-Man and the Eternity War has been killed….????)

Basically, Skeletor double crosses She-Ra into healing him from his missing jaw, and then uses the power of the Havoc Staff and the Well of Darkness to break into Hordak’s chamber of souls on Despondos.  He steals the souls and leaves She-Ra there stranded with the souls of those she executed as Despara.  Skeletor then teleports back to Eternia, unleashes those souls, which happen to re-possess their physical bodies (which are Horde Troopers,) and they mutiny.  He uses this moment of distraction to kill Hordak with his Horokoth Sword of Power.  (The moment I shouted for joy!  I’ve never been a big fan of the Horde.)  Also along the way, Evil-Lynn became the Sorceress of Horokoth.  Meaning now there are two sorceresses.

Which brings us to Issue 10.

The front cover…

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It has been hinted for quite some time that Skeletor was going to acquire the power of Grayskull.  This is why it seemed so odd that Hordak acquired it first.  And he acquired it in a very backhanded way…

I have this theory…I believe the writers are playing with the toys.  In fact, I think they might be basing their stories on their old childhood versions of the stories, or similar.

Skeletor holding a power sword wearing He-Man’s armor.  This is a strong hint.  I went and tried to duplicate this photo.  But I didn’t get a picture.  It totally works, especially if you give him the pink Prince Adam sword. (However, I don’t have a blue body with gold bracers and a gold belt.)

It was hinted back in the art book…some of the images they released showed Skeletor transformed, and also had his transformation words, “Cry Havoc!  I am Skeletor!”

We are seeing how that story unfolds.

Onto the plot.

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Basically, Prince Adam (actually King Hssss) is inspiring the masters and the Snake Men to attack the Horde.

King Hsss/Adam is wearing the traditional battle armor of the Snake Men, a supposed way to inspire them.  But we, as readers see King Hsss really flaunting who he secretly is.

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Next we see an exchange between Skeletor and Evil-Lynn.  Doesn’t she look cool!

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And now for something random.  Who is this mysterious soldier?  “War Wraith.”  And from my picture earlier, you see why I was inspired to do what I did!  The War Wraith looks incredibly like Evil-Seed.  And I thought he was until Skeletor used his name.

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And then something else we’ve never seen.  Evil-Lynn weeping.  A very spiritual thing this time.  Evidently as a manifestation of the Goddess, she reacts to things happening in the universe.  I’m reading a parallel here to what the Green Goddess (Teela) did when guiding Despara to the point of drawing He-Man’s blood, an act that would ultimately result in the resurrection of Hordak.  This seems out of character.  But it is the way her newfound power is effecting her.  Skeletor isn’t moved, of course.  Except for in the same way the SpartanNerd is moved when the females are crying.  Angry.  I know it isn’t normal, but its true.

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Next, the action cuts to the Masters using the Dragon Walkers to attack Grayskull.  A ridiculous idea.  If Dragon Walkers were real, they would be the clumsiest, stupidest kind of tank ever invented.  They were fun toys, though!  It is interesting that the details of the story mention the gear that makes them work.  More evidence that the writers have been playing with the toys…that gear was a highly noticeable part of the toy.

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And then we see the War Wraith flying on a Roton sniping snake men.  Very cool.  Who was this guy, I asked myself while reading.  He never appeared in any lore previous to now?

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A couple of pages over, and we see the Green Goddess Teela rescue She-Ra.  Divine intervention was basically the only way that could happen.  Deus Ex Machina, right?

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The Dragon Walkers (predictable) couldn’t do the job on the Fright Zone, so Moss Man does it.  He jumps out of the Wind Raider, and face-plants in a “Wrath of God” moment, sacrificing himself.  More Divine Intervention!

(At this point, the comic has a steep death toll.  I think I’ll do a death count on main characters the writers have killed off so far.  We can add Moss Man, again.)

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In the moments after while everyone is celebrating their victory, King Hss/Adam is experiencing pain.  Lots of pain, so he sneaks off for a moment of privacy.  But Rattlor follows him and lets on that he knows the secret, so King Hsss. blasts him with energy, killing him.  (Another main character killed off.)

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After this moment of pain and killing Rattlor, King Hiss/Adam is kicked in the head from behind by the War Wraith, who arrived just barely too late to discover the truth evidently.  He then takes off his mask to reveal his identity as …. Duncan!  (Man-At-Arms)!

Before moving on to Issue 11, which just came out this week, and I just read, let me tell you Hub City Geeks.  I read this book OVER AND OVER.  You might recall that I thought Issue 8 was terrible.  That was a low point.  This issue is a high point however, and Issue 11 is even greater!  (Issue 9 had the Skeletor killing Hordak moment.)

Man-At-Arms has often been made into a bad guy.  But not for Skeletor.  Usually it is a Snake Man.  The only thing that I don’t get is why did they make him look so much like Evil Seed?  This is where I think they were playing around with the toys and maybe head swapping or something, and decided Evil Seed’s armor was pretty cool for Duncan.  In my picture at the beginning, you see I only have the classic Man-At-Arms with a mustache.  (Yes, I have the non mustache head.)  But I don’t have the 200x head without the helmet, so that is as close as I could get.

Onto Issue 11.  The best one yet!  And I can tell I will likely read this one over and over as well.

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The cover shows Man-At-Arms coming out of the shell that was Roboto.  He is holding a blaster as well as his classic mace.

The colors evoke the split personality of Man-At-Arms.  And he is in a target.  Well, that is the First Person Shooter mode of Tri-Clops!

What you need to know is that previously, like, several issues ago, Man-At-Arms was the first Eternian is space.  He retrofitted Roboto into a space suit with life-support, and went into space to destroy Horak’s version of Supreme Verdict, the “Orbital Disrupter.”  however, by the end of the issue, Man-At-Arms and Roboto were plummeting to the surface in a ball of fire.  And until Issue 10, we hadn’t heard from either of them.  Issue 11 tells us the story.

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Robots used all of his energy to protect Man-At-Arms with a type of force field.  He said he had to sacrifice himself because his persona had the personality traits given to him by Duncan.

So basically, Roboto is another character killed off.

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And here comes Tri-Clops.  We’ve seen Tri-Clops working with Hordak recently.  He takes advantage of his new opportunity.

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So Man-At-Arms just destroyed the Orbital Disrupter, fought off an army of Horde satellite drones, re-entered the atmosphere, suffered an emotional loss of Roboto, and STILL can kick the crap out of Tri-Clops.  That’s awesome!

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Here is a total toy moment.  Every kid knows that Tri-Clop’s sword was WAY COOLER than anyone else’s.  Even He-Man’s.  Now the writers have been giving Man-At-Arms Tri-Clops’ sword.!

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And here is a big “duh” moment for Duncan.  Of COURSE Tri-Clops was blind under that visor…

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And Tri-Clops “duh” moment.  Duncan talks too much.  (He always did.)

And I get another shout for joy moment!  SLIME PIT TIME!

Skeletor says “Spare me the lecture.  I know how it works.  I helped design it!”  Duncan is getting slimed .  OH YEAH.  Into a ZOMBIE for SKELETOR.  KA BAAAMMMM!!!!

The Slime Pit was always a toy that I loved to play with.  But my mom wouldn’t let us play with the slime.

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And then we see how Skeletor is going to get the blood of Grayskull.  He is going to literally drain Hordak’s blood!  The cool thing they’ve done with Hordak is make him into a celestial vampire.  He was empowered by the souls of those he slew or led to their death for him.  Now Skeletor is becoming more of a literal vampire.  AND we get to see him without his hood.

And then back to the War Wraith.  “Skeletor sends his regards.”

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Duncan seems to be a total convert to Skeletor’s ways.  He has no mercy on who he thinks is Prince Adam.

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And he’s just about to slay him, when….

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We interrupt this murder with a message from the Goddess and She-Ra, who both are flying on Swift Wind and talking.

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So Evil-Lynn can’t have all this happiness.  She busts up in front of Swifty.

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And then transforms into a bat, the symbol of Horokoth.  It appears, however that Teela the Green Goddess can transform into Serpos, the Snake God from 200x.

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An intense elemental battle between forces of the universe.  Now if only Zoar were to appear…

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Nope.  Back to the other battle.  Of Course, King Hsss. wasn’t going to be bested by a zombified Man-At-Arms.  He transforms and then kills Duncan.  And then more of that pain happens.

And another strong hint that the writers are playing with the toys and getting inspired to write the characters after them.

As King Hsss fights to suppress Prince Adam’s essence, which is fighting inside of him, he explodes in a burst of energy and becomes…

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NAKED!

(Recently there was a figure of Oo-Lar, the Jungle He-Man, who is all nude except for his furry shorts.  He’s even barefooted.)

I can’t wait to see what happens next!

You see, it has been raining like crazy.  I don’t really have anything to do except work and read comics when I get the chance, or maybe mess around with Magic cards.

I give both of these comics a 5/5.  I believe the writers are MOTU fans.  And I believe they are trying hard to give us an adult comic.  They have tastefully set aside some of the things about MOTU that people call “silly”, and created a darker, edgier, more modern story and are doing things with the characters that haven’t been done before.  Sometimes even taking inspiration from things seldom used before.  (Like the Slime Pit.)

Hope to be back soon with a review of the new Masters of the Universe Mini Comics Collection!

SpartanNerd Review…Masters of the Universe MAGAZINE ISSUE #2 (Vintage Review)

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You gotta love small business!  Daniel Macabee, owner of the Tangled Web in Spartanburg SC, picked this up with ME in mind. It was very much appreciated…he sold it to me for a fair price, and it came with an extra “The Menace of the Evil Horde” mini comic, one of the rarest ever printed!  (Daniel cares enough about my interests to find the right items, is my point.  Does Wal-Mart care.  Nope!)

As a child, I received this magazine as a part of a Publishers Clearing House subscription, I’m sure.  I remember spending lots of time staring at the pages.  I removed the posters, but my mother wouldn’t let us hang them.  Basically these, like all of our books, became narfed up to the point of being trash worthy only.

I love that I have a chance as an adult to re-visit what this was all about.  And as with all of my vintage comics reviews, I will also talk about the ads.

The cover of the book, (above) shows Skeletor and He-Man battling, with Skeletor prominently seated on Spydor.  The cover is an Earl Norem painting…he did all of the covers for He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Magazines.  (But not She-Ra.)  He also did the posters that came inside.

What you can’t see is Moss Man in the picture.  The UPC code etc caused him to be cropped out.

Turning the page, you are greeted with your first ad.

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An ad for the SECRET WARS toys.  I had a few of these as a kid.  These were my introduction to Wolverine and to Spider-Man with a black costume.  I had forgotten about the trick shield until recently, when the current Secret Wars comics printed variant covers that mocked these vintage toys.

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One thing about the MOTU magazine, it functioned as a sort of pseudo social network for He-Man fans.  There are letters printed throughout the issue.

Prominently featured here is the instructions for removing the posters inside without damaging the magazine.  Do you think I removed the posters?  NO WAY!  Doing so would remove some of the other content of the magazine, which bothered me back in the day as much as it does now.  As a kid, did I follow these instructions?  Nope.  (I just jerked the posters out, leaving obvious holes where the staples were.)

What better way to start a MOTU magazine than with a letter from He-Man himself?  Here he just summarizes what’s ahead in the book.

Then we get our next ad when we turn the page.

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You are supposed to do this puzzle…so now we are removing pages, AND writing in our prized magazine.  Total sacrilege.

This ad reminds me of the “decoder pen” in the movie “The Christmas Story.”  I do think it does a good job of emphasizing the tactile nature of Oreos.  I think I’ll eat one now…

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The official table of contents.  This reminds me of the font list you see on a word processing program, like Microsoft Word or Apple’s Pages.  Nowadays the font list tries to give you an idea of what the font looks like.

Each line of the tale of contents contains a different color and font.  In some classes about doing word processing, the teachers told us that we shouldn’t do this…that it is “tacky.”  I guess a bunch of kids interested in Stinkor might not be so concerned about how “tacky” things look.

Besides this, you can also see little snips of the art in the different sections of the book.

This document pre-dates modern word processing.  All of this would have been cut and pasted by hand.  That’s impressive!

Also, do you notice the lack of photographs?  Earl Norem said in his interview with He-Man.org that at the time, it was more expensive to print photographs than use drawn or painted art.  Doesn’t that seem backwards by today’s standards?  (Notice the ads thought generally feature cartoon art, like the Oreo ad for instance.)

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Letters from the fans.  Each one of these sings the praises of He-Man.  Many kids say something like they want to help He-Man defeat Skeletor.  Some of them have kids art…quite an honor.

We get a promotional ad for the magazine we are reading….

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Four issues for $6.00.  WOW!

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Some older kids wrote letters in on this page.  One kid seems a little ashamed, mentioning that he is fifteen years old.  That would make him about eight years older than the SpartanNerd.  I hope he is still interested.

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Another ad.  This one for Nerds.  It features a contest.  And REAL photos.  I think its comical some of the prizes offered.  First prize is a massive Sony stereo system, with a record player.  Second prize is a CORDLESS PHONE.  Third prize a canon camera that needed REAL FILM.  Fourth prize a Nerds watch.  With prize a bag.  Sixth prize a Nerds stamp.

Last time I checked, Raspberry and Blueberry flavors are still on the shelves…

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Remember me talking about this being a social network sort of…

Here are some articles of interest for the kiddies.  I have never seen the first book, or the second one.  I’d forgotten about the movie “Baby.”  I remember it being sad somehow at the end, however.  Basically they find Baby stranded from its Brontosaurus mother.  Light years before Jurassic Park.

The animal trainer seems familiar.

I don’t remember the ghost movie.

Braingames.  On HBO.  This was early edutainment.  This would evolve into Dora the Explorer and similar.

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Behind these pages we can see the poster.  I am showing you that mine is still intact, and will remain that way!  Here are digital images of the two posters.

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Now here’s an interesting feature.  And yet another social network outlet.  They intended to feature a kid each month who did something heroic.  They would call this featured person, “He-Man of the Issue.”

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Floating Visions.  If you can’t tell what these are without tilting the magazine, maybe you are into the Thundercats instead….

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A featured story.  I would point out that some of this has poster behind it.  So if you sacrifice the magazine for the poster, you lose some of the story.

The artwork is interesting.  The color scheme here is more feminine than we usually see with He-Man stuff.  I wonder if this artist went on to color She-Ra books?

This is a story that glosses over major details and skips to the point.  Heroic warriors are captured.  Skeletor attacks Grayskull.  He-Man wins.

As a teacher, I see something else now.  The reading level of this story is on par with a seven year old.  Important because of what follows.

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The Duke of Lorin is an almost fan-fiction short story.  Not a graphic novel…this is meant for a higher reading level.  Maybe an eleven or twelve year old.  The border that surrounds the story is fantastic!

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As an adult looking in the rear view mirror, Create a Character means something else.  Mattel used this magazine to solicit kids to CREATE A CHARACTER near the end of the line.  (Eventually we would have the Fearless Photog) The goofy feature here isn’t the same thing.  It’s more of a paper-dolls activity.

OK.  So we are supposed to write in the book to solve the OREO puzzle.  Remove the posters.  And now cut out pieces of paper doll.  EEEK.

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The next feature got me at first.  It appears to be a battle scene.  The kind of thing you see everyday on Eternia.  But then you look closely and see how silly it is.  man-At-Arms has a plunger!  Battle cat is a house cat sized animal. Evil-Lyn is carrying a LIGHT BULB.

I’ll let you find the rest!

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There is another little ad.  Choose Your Adventure.

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Another way to mutilate the book.  Work this word-search.

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The Secret of the Sword movie was coming out soon, and She-Ra would be unleashed on all of the little girls.  (Boys too, it turns out.)

Notice that the Evil Horde gets a mention here, but the enemies featured are Skeletor’s baddies.

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The back of the magazine has this ad for a hot-wheels train.  No electricity required.  This time a photo.  It has something to do with being on the back cover, which is the same sheet as the front cover.

The ad prominently attacks the electric train industry by pointing out how much better it is to roll the trains yourself by hand.  You might not remember, but back in 1985, electric trains were all the rage with kids.  Including the SpartanNerd.

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I mentioned that there was a little extra.  This is the real thing!  Manteca and the Menace of the Evil Horde!

I really enjoyed my trip down memory lane.  Thanks for reading, oh Hub-City Geeks.

SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review…Masters of the Universe Classics Evilseed

When Evilseed went on sale, I decided I would get him, only to be held off by circumstances.  I thought I would have to catch him on Cyber Monday, maybe.  But he remained on sale…perhaps he didn’t sell out?  Regardless, I ordered mine, and over a week later he arrived in this mailer.

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I quickly opened it, to reveal the sealed packaging.

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The front of the box has a nice window that has Evilseed on display.  You can clearly see his accessories…he has the tag line of “Evil Master of Plants.”  And that’s about it.  Just from seeing here…he is quite incredible looking, if you are a MIC collector.  But that’s not me.

I flipped the box over, and check it out!  For the first time, I own all of the characters on the back of the box!

Evilseed gets a new “real name” and bio, photographed here for you, oh Hub City Geeks.  But I’m just throwing away the package.  Notably, the bio says that Moss Man created Evilseed.  A good story.  But I prefer the Mike Young version that this figure is based on.

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Removing Evilseed from the package isn’t difficult.  He did have some rubber bands, and the vine-whip accessory had to be wrangled out of the blister.  But other than that, it was all good.  Notably, there was no “smell” associated with this figure.  (If you will recall, Moss Man” had a very strong pine scent.)

Here he is in the first pose I made for him.

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Evilseed has a terrific sculpt.  When I first saw this revealed, I knew I had to get one to go with my Moss Man.  The Four Horsemen hit a homerun every time!  Check out all of the little scaly looking parts.  Check out the thorns and vines.  I went back and watched “Orko’s Garden,” “Council of Evil” part 1 & 2, and “The Last Stand” today to check my facts.  I have ready other reviews, and there is some criticism of this version being too bulked up.  In the MYP cartoon, his IS skinner at the torso and waist, but the entire upper body looks almost perfect.  The thicker torso here is welcome, if you ask me.  While they could have used some amalgamation of Lizard Man’s parts, I think this was the way to go.  It doesn’t look wrong at all.  Maybe he’s been working out?

Evilseed has that terrific sculpt, and also the standard articulation that all of the other MOTUC figures have.  Rocker joint ankles, hinged knees, ball jointed shoulders, waist twist, ab crunch, ball jointed shoulders, bicep swivels, hinged elbows, a swivel wrist, and a ball jointed head that can rotate freely and be swapped out.

The cool new addition to the articulation is the way the vines look on the legs.  They are made of a more rubbery material, and are a continuation of the waist piece.  These come down and loop around the knees, which means Evilseed has both loose vines on his knees and articulation there!

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How about this face!  If he had a mother….

For real, this is one of the most evil faces ever sculpted for MOTUC.  Evilseed’s overall green color is a stark and EVIL contrast to this sinister eyes and mouth, which are bright red in color.  This is the only red on the figure…everyghing else is green, black, or brown.  This highlights the evil human nature of the figure, and even makes him appear alien.  Where his hair should be, we have this bunch of creepy looking vines/grass/seaweed.

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The torso is evidently just the same sort of Torso that He-Man or most of the others have.  But this time there is non-removable armor sculpted with he specific viney details demanded of Evilseed.  There is a very striking collar that comes up beside his head on both sides, giving him a plant/vampire look.  You can see the vine details on his back, and also two mysterious green thorns in the middle of his back.

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One of Evilseed’s two accessories is “The Scepter of Power.”  My research tells me that this Filmation artifact was in the episode, “The Magic Falls.”  I don’t personally own this episode on DVD.  I started to watch it on YouTube, when I discovered that all of those videos appear to be playing at too fast a clip, giving a chipmunk effect to most of the music and voices.  It was unbearable to me.  And As a music teacher, the difference in key created by the effect was just too jarring. Anyways, Evilseed looks really good with the Scepter of Power.  It is supposed to be for King Randor, but since I am not a fan of “Throne Room Randor” and, nor the Burger King version of the regular Randor, I decided to settle on letting Prince Adam hold it.  (He would inherit it anyway, right?)

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Not bad at all.

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The other accessory is this vine-whip creature.  You can position it almost anywhere on his body.  I think I might try and order more of these!  I think he should have come with more of them.  Watching the MYP version made me realize how ridiculous and over-exaggerated the vines that Evilseed controlled were.  But it worked really well in that cartoon.  Evilseed even made T-Rex sorts of plants, and hydra plants also.  He also would use them to transport around on…Mattel could have given us an interchanging waist so we could display him as seen transporting around on a “trunk” of vines!

In getting this figure, one of my aims was display him in battle with Moss Man.  Here is my first attempt!

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Even with the “plant god” head on, Moss Man appears to be from a different line entirely.  Both are green, but the flocking on Moss Man blurs his details.

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Evilseed looks pretty good with Moss Man’s weapon, but the seed-bag armor with knife doesn’t fit properly across Evilseed because of the collar piece of the armor.  It fits loosely around his waist, which is something I do with Moss Man sometimes.

It might be better to use it to imprison him…

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Heheh…looks like Orko is going to set him free…

Evilseed was a part of Skeletor’s Council of Evil…We can compare Evilseed to Count Marzo and Skeletor by reenacting a scene from the cartoon.

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SpartanNerd Rating of Masters of the Universe Classics Evilseed.

Evilseed has terrific sculpting.  He is highly articulated, even specifically for his figure.  (With the vines around his knees.)  His paint looks good, and there was no “pee plastic” smell like I detected from King Hsss and Snake Armor He-Man.  He comes with two accessories…the only complaint I can level is I wish we had MORE vines.  But this can be easily done.

So I give MOTUC Evilseed a 5/5!  I am not the least bit disappointed in this figure.  Every detail matches my specifications!  There are some people who complain that this isn’t Filmation’s “turnip head” version.  But I don’t even like that version…it was even a reason I might not subscribe to that little add-on sub.  This 200x version looks evil, not goofy.  He is ready for battle…ready to kick some plants!

The SpartanNerd gives Masters of the Universe Classics Evilseed a 5/5.  Do you agree or disagree?  Let me know in the comments!

SpartanNerd Review…He-Man: The Eternity War #8

DC’s remix of Mattel’s classic property has recently received a lot of love from fans and critics, including the SpartanNerd.  However, this time, I don’t feel as good.

Some background.

In issue #5, The Goddess/Sorceress/Teela reveals that destiny has three faces…Serpos, Zoar, and Horokoth.  Serpos was the ancient god of the snake-men.  Zoar has been Serpos’ replacement for ages for the Eternians, and Horokoth a god for the Horde.  The Goddess thinks the Age of Horokoth is inevitable, and wonders if He-Man could, or even should prevent it.

Issue #6 shows us a dystopian future where Adam becomes King He-Man, and rules with an iron fist.  He has enlisted his former enemies, Skeletor’s minions, to be a big part of his army, and is fighting against She-Ra, who leads the former Masters of the Universe as rebels against him.  We see him married to Teela, who reverts to green Goddess mode and we realize it was a vision given to Adam of what the future is to become if He-Man beats back the Horde himself.  So He-Man breaks the sword!

Issue #7 is more back-story for Skeletor and the Havoc Staff.  Evidently, strangely, Skeletor became the Evil Overlord of Destruction by breaking the time-space continuum and preventing his own murder at Hordak’s hands…an event that had to happen because the skull on the Havoc Staff is his own skull, only twisted by demonic magic.  Skeletor also tells us that he helped raise Despara/Adora/She-Ra, but because it is Skeletor who is talking, who knows if he’s telling the truth?

After all of these exciting stories, we get issue #8.

A break in the jaw-dropping revelations.

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We get some fighting and some narrative in the first few pages.

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We see Adam leading the charge with a gun-arm reminiscent of what Man-At-Arms uses.

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We see King Hsss/Randor….(But why?)

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And then the war is over.  We see the next day, Adam sitting on the throne petting Battle Cat.  (Not Cringer…hmmm…)

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Basically, just one day after the war, and the snake-men seem less loyal to Adam.  They were showing astonishing loyalty to He-Man.  Now, not so much.  Fisto has to call down this snake man who is about to execute Imp.  Evidently, the snake men are supposed to know that prisoners are to stand trial.

Adam is catching cold.  The Goddess thanks him for relinquishing his power.

I didn’t photograph the next parts, but here is a summary.  Skeletor turns on She-Ra like we all knew he would.  They transport into Hordak;s “Vault of Souls,” where he steals most of the souls, and then entices She-Ra to fall into the vault by throwing a locket with Marlena’s picture into it.

Act III…, Hordak finally makes his intentions known.  The Eternians have one day of peace granted by him, (I guess because he’s such a nice guy.)  Next he shows the future of those who are going to escape him to the planet Primus.

He uses the Eyes of Grayskull…

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And destroys their future lives and their offsprings lives on Primus.

Wait another month, fools, for the next installment.

My quandary with this book comes in several ways.

First of all, why was King Hsss there?  Is he making the snake men less loyal?  Did Adam meet him in battle?  All we get is a strange picture of him saying “sssso weak,” referring to Adam.

My next problem is…we didn’t see HOW Adam led them to defeat the Horde at Eternos Palace.  All we get is “The day after liberation.”  A whole book could have been devoted to just that.  And SHOULD HAVE.  We would have seen Adam as the strong leader he evidently is, apart from the Power of Grayskull.  But the writers took the lame way out.  “The next day…”  “The day after Liberation,” “After the battle.”  But we see none of the action.  And action is one of the reasons why I like comic books.  BOOOOO!!!!  And just think how much more the rest of the story elements in this book would have meant?

My third gripe…this isn’t a stand-alone book in any way.  Lets just say, for instance, a person goes into a comic book store and says, “Wow!  A He-Man comic! I remember He-Man!” and picks this up.  They will be put on their tail.  Without knowledge of the series pretty much as a whole, you couldn’t understand what was happening in this book.  The stupid looking Fright Zone/Castle Grayskull abomination isn’t self explanatory enough.  The Green Goddess isn’t the Filimation Sorceress, or even Teela.  The Snake Men are fighting WITH the good guys?  A major nostalgia parade is rained on with an issue like this.  Sometimes Nostalgia is the only thing that sells books about 1980’s properties.  But this didn’t have to be the case.  The book could be much more accessible if there was a brief page at the front that explains what has been happening.  This has been done in MANY comics before.  Basically all of the Conan comics.  The modern Star Wars comics.  Marvel’s current Secret War also give you a little background and some premise.  But here, it is “jump in and read for the first time, and leave confused.”

My fourth gripe…New Adventures never does seem to be able to get ahead, does it.  I never watched the show, but read the few mini comics that were printed.  My brother had Slush Head and New Adventures He-Man.  I myself am not completely unattached, and hope the best for New Adventures because there are hundreds of fans.  But those fans just got dumped on. Hordak destroyed Primus.  And we just got to see it in one panel!  We could see it, and the future Masters of the Universe, who were also evidently destroyed.

Oh Hub City Geeks, I believe this comic was necessary for the advacement of the story.  But there are many things wrong here.  I hope things don’t turn south from here on out.  The only redeeming quality here is the art, which is consistent with the better art printed in DC’s run of Masters of the Universe.

The SpartanNerd rates He-Man: The Eternity War #8 a 1/5.  This is one of the lowest scores I have given a modern comic.  It is a necessary read to have the story.  But pitiful delivery.